Sintrex Products

Category: Sintrex Products

Beauty vs. the Beast!

Application Monitoring – still haven’t found what you’re looking for?

In the IT Monitoring space, it has become a requirement to have eyes on everything in your infrastructure and everyone has become used to the single pane of glass, API integration with drill-through capability and full stack service monitoring.

As a result, many specialist companies are punting complete visibility of your entire infrastructure and positioning their tools as the panacea to keeping an eye on it all, the entire time.

Looking at the features and capabilities of the more prevalent vendors out there, it appears to be realistic enough, but can one specialist tool really manage all of this in one go?

Is it possible? Yes!

Does is ever work?  Hardly…!

Here’s why…

Supposing you have the Rolls Royce of application monitoring tools, as soon as you start investigating last hop network latency on a per transaction basis to troubleshoot your customer portal’s performance issues – or something just as intricate, but relevant to your IT service – in most cases you will find a mundanely basic network error is actually affecting normal service delivery.

Most of the marquee application monitoring tools that you come across can see any level of detail into the most critical IT services.

Embarrassingly, but most often upon implementation, these tools end up pointing out bad housekeeping, like misconfigured DHCP or how network flows are being directed to discontinued IP addresses.

Despite the grand visions that we have for our IT environments, the ground level is not as stable as we expect or want it to be and will always be something that requires our attention.

One way of looking at it is the TCP/IP model of networking communications. Application monitoring tools are used to look at, troubleshoot and alert on the upper layer, as the name suggests, where transaction details can be decrypted for DPI – Deep Packet Inspection.

Following this the Transport, Internet and Physical Layers are the supporting communication layers and essentially constitute physical and virtualized network equipment, VLANs, Quality of Service Bands and their configurations – everything that the business applications need to serve the end users with information.

If this TCP/IP model is viewed as a tower of building blocks, which it does represent in many ways, it stands to reason that the foundational layers need to be in place and under control before the upper layers can be used to any effect.

These are areas and functions that need to be maintained.

Don’t take my word for it though, refer to any operational lifecycle or governance framework. Somewhere between the planning, design and operation of any service in IT, maintenance is required.
ITIL labels it as “Transition”, COBIT says “Review Effectiveness” and the Sintrex in-house methodology chose to call it “Verify”, but it still speaks to evaluating existing structures for effectiveness and performing maintenance where necessary.

But “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it”, so unless something goes wrong and gets rectified, how would one maintain the lower layers of this tower?

There should be emphasis on the lowest level of the model continuously, but your focus can only move to the upper layers, provided that the current layers in focus mature into established processes of maintenance and upkeep.

This should ring true for anyone involved in networks, as the first port of call when assigning blame is invariably, the network. More trust in the network and higher visibility into the lower layers translates into less time you need to spend hunting basic errors.

And when an end user claims the ERP system is not working, IT support should first and foremost confirm that the physical network servicing the system is up and running.

If you can say with confidence that the basics are in place and the network is doing what it should, it enables you to build up from this foundation to view all the intricacies that depend on the network.

This is the level of confidence you should have in your network, before you should be able to put your trust in Application monitoring.

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It geeks hate operational monotony: why you should adjust your sails

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” Jimmy Dean

25 years ago…
Change in IT happened so often that the only constant was upgrading technology: from XT to AT workstations, from thick Ethernet cabling to thin Ethernet, from Token Ring topologies to Bus topologies and from binding IPX to TCP/IP protocols on NICs.  Techs were techs – having a variety of technical skills; from writing little DOS menus to re-cabling a building with your own RG-58 cabling tools, while explaining the difference between a floppy and a stiffy to a new user. The IT team was “The IT Team” – no specialists. Some just knew a little more than others. Everything seems to be project driven and operational issues were small issues that had to be resolved along the way as part of the ‘project’.

As time progressed…
Some technologies became adopted standards as implemented by most organisations, like star topology reticulation and TCP/IP. Techs started to specialise and businesses started looking for specific skills in the market to address certain technology needs.  Desktop support engineers faced the irate users while network engineers fiddled with routing protocols that could halt a company’s business operations with a small typo on a subnet mask.

The bigger the company infrastructures grew, the more controls and processes were implemented.  And the one thing that Techs hate is exactly that: the monotony of “more of the same”. Techs want change – new toys, upgrades, new features, and exciting bells and whistles. Businesses, on the other hand, want stability, productivity, uptime, less change, no outages, ease of use, etc.

Today…
Understandably, even when things go wrong, Techs would rather be working on new projects and new technology than trying to figure out what is now causing the storm in the cloud. With the evolution of systems and applications, Techs have been saved! Today, there are systems available that can pinpoint issues in any IT environment for a quick resolution, but here’s the curveball…. These systems too, need to be maintained. Which brings us back to the modern expectation of specialisation (internal resources are very rarely specialised in external systems) and operational monotony (which, as we stressed, Techies through the ages simply “love”!)

The solution…
It is quite simple. As quoted above – you need to accept the reality and adjust your sails! A third, independent party like Sintrex specialises in a variety of tools and systems and for us, it is not monotonous, but exciting! Our services come with a variety of additional benefits. It is important to remember, despite systems that “pin point issues in any IT environment for quick resolution”- if you cannot see it or have not loaded it for monitoring, then you cannot monitor it! And without monitoring, there can be no quick resolution, only frustrated Techs and increased pressure from business.

Come chat to us at the MyBroadband Conference on 26 October. We would love to explain how we can assist in adjusting your sails, to set you on the course for success!

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Sintrex deploys automated testing to provide end-to-end service solutions

Sintrex, an Infrastructure Management Company based in South Africa, believes in quality service delivery and is passionate about the innovative pursuit of excellence in providing end-to-end IT solutions and services.

To help ensure this quality, they have worked hard to deploy automated testing to the Sintelligent modules they use to deliver their services to clients.

How Sintrex automated testing works

Automated testing makes use of a testing framework consisting of Jenkins and Selenium that allows test cases to be run unassisted anytime of the day or night to ensure functionality is working as expected.  ­­­

Sintrex’s automated software framework allows them to test changes made to their code base at regular intervals and allows them to do so with minimal assistance from testing team members.

By eliminating the need for a person to do the testing, it allows them to run these tests nightly and helps them to identify any issues caused by code changes almost as quickly as they happen.

The road ahead

As their test automation framework matures, Sintrex will be in a position to rely on their automation processes with enough confidence to release versions of the modules more frequently.

“Unlike solutions where the software sits in a central location and is accessed by multiples of clients, our software is deployed at each of our clients and used to provide the services we offer to that particular client,” says Gregory Hooper the Quality Assurance Manager.

This adds logistical challenges to their upgrade process, as each release must be deployed in an individual change control slot at each of their clients.

This means that, although there will be benefits in being able to deliver releases more frequently, Sintrex still need to work to find the sweet spot of regular intervals to deploy.

Through the deployment of automation testing, Sintrex is now able to offer their IT management solutions in even more accurate and relevant.

This gives you improved real-time infrastructure and service level information that is constantly available and will enable easy identification of service level lapses and minimised time of problem resolution.

To get insight into your business applications, IT infrastructure, or user network usage patterns, with Sintrex automated testing, please visit the Sintrex website.

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The right way to transform your IT infrastructure

 

Modern businesses have extensive global networks, multiple service providers and utilise various technologies across a range of platforms.

However, monitoring and reacting to downtime or threats across these platforms can be strenuous and time-consuming without a solution in place.

In effect, this places your company’s corporate image in jeopardy when productivity decreases and customer service deteriorate.

When there is downtime, data needs to be secure and IT infrastructure management has to be faster, more agile, more easily scalable and cost-efficient.

Sintrex helps to manage complex environments to ensure maximum efficiency and consistent service to your end users.

Sintrex’s Infrastructure Management solutions also assist in protecting your business against downtime and threats which can result in lasting financial loss, brand damage, legal liabilities, and other extremely unpleasant consequences.

Infrastructure Management Services is essential to help automate, manage, and align your company’s IT resources and has become a must-have with the proliferation of virtualization and cloud technology.

Automation reduces the time it takes to perform a wide range of functions, making it possible to manage servers, storage and networks in converged infrastructures from a centralised location.

Sintrex services allow you to improve the stability, reliability and availability of the IT infrastructure and application services while constantly improving on performance levels and management of your IT investment.

It will also empower you to proactively identify any areas that are vulnerable and identify potential problems to prevent future downtime and disruption to end users.

As a local company, Sintrex’s team is highly familiar with challenges affecting South Africans, and their experience in a wide range of industries enables them to deliver custom results.

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Meet the local company that’s transforming IT Infrastructure Management in SA

 

The company has a strong internship programme that currently sees 80% of its interns joining its team full-time.

Mclachlan argued that South African companies need to be at the forefront of developing young people and creating jobs.

Keeping revenue local empowers companies investing in the future of South Africa to mature their products, drive innovation and ultimately create employment opportunities.

For its efforts to driving local job creation, Sintrex has been recognised by the IDC and DTI.

What Sintrex offers

The company offers its clients accurate, real time data and ensures that a desired level of performance is achieved and maintained in all IT assets throughout the business.

While many products and services in the local IT sector are based on imported products, Sintrex is dedicated to providing local solutions.

By listening to and adapting services to each client’s unique needs, Sintrex offers a complete end-to-end service built on the following four service pillars:

  • Sintrex Infrastructure Management:
  • Sintrex Asset Management:
  • Sintrex Application Management:
  • Sintrex SLA Management:

Addressing these four service pillars results in a comprehensive IT management solution designed to enhance the customers experience of their IT.

The personal touch

Yet what really sets Sintrex apart is the motivated, credible and attentive team that seem to become part of the client’s extended family.

Through a culture of excellence, partnership and fun, Sintrex also attracts and empowers staff with an inspirational work experience, world class software and globally renowned suppliers and partners.

“Sintrex delivers great results because it mentors a great team,” said Keith Mclachlan, CEO at Sintrex.

“With a culture of open participation, results a driven through great collaboration between departments allowing a shared passion for IT solutions to bring the staff together productively.”

Employees at Sintrex are able to deliver top quality services and solutions to their clients, helping to secure and enhance their IT reputations.

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Sintrex addresses I.T. skills shortage

 

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Make your IT work smarter, not harder

As a leader in IT Infrastructure Management, Sintrex has earned a reputation for world-class end-to-end solutions with a personal touch.

While many products and services in the local IT sector are based on imported products, Sintrex provides local solutions.

By listening to and adapting services to each client’s unique needs, Sintrex offers a complete end-to-end service, with accurate, real-time data that ensures a desired level of performance is achieved and maintained in all IT assets throughout the business.

This service is built on the following four service pillars, which work to form a comprehensive IT management solution designed to enhance the customer’s experience of their IT:

  • Sintrex Infrastructure Management: This allows you to become a long-term partner in the accurate and efficient management of their IT infrastructure.
  • Sintrex Asset Management: Sintrex delivers real-time information on your assets to ensure the business is operating at maximum efficiency.
  • Sintrex Application Management: Sintrex strives to proactively detect and diagnose application performance problems to maintain a superior level of service for the business by monitoring and managing the performance and availability of software applications.
  • Sintrex SLA Management: Sintrex Service-level management provides for continual identification, monitoring and review of the levels of IT services specified in the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) the business has with multiple 3rd party suppliers and service providers.

What really sets Sintrex apart, however, is the motivated, credible and attentive team.

Through a culture of excellence, partnership and fun, Sintrex attracts and empowers staff with an inspirational work experience, world class software and globally renowned partners.

“Sintrex delivers great results because it mentors a great team,” said Keith Mclachlan, CEO at Sintrex.

A shared passion for client focused IT visibility solutions, brings the staff together, productively.”

Mclachlan contends that South African companies need to be at the forefront of developing young people and creating jobs.

Keeping revenue local empowers companies investing in the future of South Africa to mature their products, drive innovation and ultimately create employment opportunities.

Sintrex has a strong internship programme that currently sees 80% of its interns joining its team full-time.

Sintrex